LAHORE The Economic Affairs Division in the Centre and Punjabs Health Department are at loggerheads over the issue of student admissions under the Pakistan Technical Assistance Programme and self-finance basis in First Year of MBBS/BDS for 2010-11 in the public sector medical and dental colleges across the Punjab. According to the Health Department, the nomination of all those candidates who do not fulfil the basic minimum eligibility criteria, such as qualifying the SAT-II, foreign nationality and required educational qualifications, as laid down in the prospectus, may be cancelled. Then Punjab government took a lenient view and decided to exempt only those candidates from SAT-II who were bona-fide foreign nationals and not those who were of Pakistani origin and having dual nationality. It was decided in a committee meeting chaired by Senator Ishaq Dar (convener) and Justice (r) Aamer Raza Khan, Muhammed Jehanzeb Khan, Secretary Health, Punjab, Prof Amer Aziz, member Board of Governors, UHS (co-opted), Prof Malik Hussain Mubbashar, vice chancellor, University of Heath Sciences. The committee recommended that the nominated bona-fide foreign national candidates, who are not appeared in the entrance test or passed SAT-II examination with requisite score, may be exempted from this requirement for session 2010-2011 only and allowed to continue their studies. However, it is not to be quoted as a precedent in future. The nominated candidates of Pakistani origin, having dual nationality, shall have to pass the SAT-II examination with a minimum score of 550 marks in each science subject before their provisional admission could be regularised. In future, EAD and HEC may be asked to ensure that all foreign candidates fulfil the conditions as laid down in the prospectus before nominating them for admissions in public sector medical and dental colleges of the Punjab. EAD and HEC should devise their own mechanism to widely disseminate the eligibility conditions for admission of foreign students in MBBS BDS through Pakistani embassies in other countries and also advertise these in international media. It would be more appropriate that HEC and EAD get the eligibility of these candidates verified by UHS before finalising their nomination. It must be made abundantly clear to them that admission board for medical/dental institutions of the Punjab shall not entertain any candidate who does not fulfil basic minimum requirements for admission including entrance test/SAT II examination. Every year a number of foreign reserved seats are remain vacant in medical/dental colleges of the Punjab due to non-availability of eligible candidates. In a letter addressed to Secretary Health Punjab EAD said that it would be against the principle of uniformity and natural justice that some students are being given exemption, and the others are ignored. It is, therefore, requested that foreign students of Pakistan origin may also be exempted as they also took admission in the same session of 2010-11. Sources from UHS said that there were 151 students who were falling in PTAP and self finance scheme basis of the Punjab government.